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A New Improved About Page

January 14, 2020

Mark Armstrong Illustration guy shouting It's Done to announce finished new About Pageblank vertical space, 24 pixels highIs there anything more important than the About Page, when it comes to a website?blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

If you’re thinking of hiring someone, isn’t it the first thing you’d look at?blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

It makes that crucial first impression, right?blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

So why has it taken me so long to get mine into decent shape??blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

(No, don’t answer that, it might embarrass me… 😳 )blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

I just finished giving my About Page an overhaul, and you can see it here. I also added a Contact Page.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

I found a lot of conflicting advice on what to include on one’s About Page. Here’s what I decided to include, and why:blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Header shot (photo) ✅blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

I included two: my kindergarten photo, and what I look like now (basically the same, except for the mustache 😂 ). A photo’s essential. Like it or not, we all judge by appearances.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

A Little History ✅blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

A super-condensed version of how I got here. A backstory makes you more relatable.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Where I’m At ✅blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Meaning, geographically. Seems weird, but I think people are more “real” when you know their general location.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Motto ✅blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

“My images are different, like your brand needs to be.”blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Having a motto seems pretentious, but I stuck it in because it contains an essential truth: to succeed, you have to get noticed, and that means being different from your competitors. Illustration can help you break out.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Humor: What It Is, Why It Works ✅blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

It was important for me to be clear that humor is my specialty; it’s really how I think.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

I included Clive James’ “Humor is just common sense, dancing” because, so often, humor is all about putting people at ease; it’s what makes communication possible.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

The Things I Draw ✅blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Just a list, but I wanted to show that illustration can take many forms.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Who I Draw Them For ✅blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

I mentioned a couple of big brands, and a couple of small businesses. The big names give me “social proof” (credibility), and the smaller names say I’m accessible.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Why Should You Hire Me? ✅blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

I listed 12 reasons, and I kept them short; one of the strongest: I’m an idea person who can help you figure out what you want to say, visually.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Where To Go From Here ✅blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

It makes a lot of sense to end with a call-to-action; I provided several options: learn more; read my testimonials; request a quote, etc.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

blank vertical space, 16 pixels highEvery time I added a section to the About Page, I’d preview the page and check the length. I wanted to get a feel for how long it took me to scroll thru it.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Just a guess on my part, but I think it would be a mistake to make the page any longer than it is now. People’s attention spans are limited, mine included.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Also: I think the page seems longer than it really is because I use a fairly large type size, and a lot of white space.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

So what did I leave out?blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

FWIW, here’s what I did not include on my About Page, and why:blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Our Mission, Our Essence, Our Promise, Our Vibe, etc. 🚫blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

You see these on a lot of About Pages, and they always strike me as pretentious. Maybe “pro forma” is a better term: kind of a polite formality. They’re also an invitation to lapse into jargon, which is always a mistake, in my opinion. You can tell people what you do without calling it a “mission.”blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Core Values 🚫blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

For me, this always smacks of political correctness. Stating your core values says you’re “woke,” that you support a cause (9 times out of 10, it involves global warming). I honestly believe we all support causes, and mine might be different than yours. That’s OK. No need to demand allegiance, I’ll do my best for you, and trust you to do the same.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Timeline 🚫blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

You see some pretty ones, but they take up a lot of space. Also: I think they tempt you to talk a little too much about yourself.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Video ❓blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

I might add one later. I think a slideshow would be a great way to let readers click thru work samples and client testimonials.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Story 🚫blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Telling one’s “story” is dangerous. Not because of the bad things we’ve done, or the dumb things, but because we all like to talk too much about ourselves– and it’s not a good idea to bore your prospects to tears.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Aha! Moment 🚫blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

I’ve had plenty, but most are embarrassing: as in: why did it take me so long to see that??blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Benefits 🚫blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Listing benefits would make me sound like any other illustrator. Giving 12 reasons why you should hire me works better: it’s a way of defining value and (hopefully!) showing how I’m different at the same time.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

What Problems I Solve ❓blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

I left this out because I was sure I’d be trying to cram in too much information. But I think it would work as a submenu (under About). I could use it to link to case studies that show how I helped specific clients.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Milestones 🚫blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Pretty much the same as those “big red dots” on a timeline: you
risk boring people. Also: there are better ways to show milestones. A big one for me was landing Coca-Cola as a client. I have two wonderful testimonials from those assignments– and they speak much louder than any dots on a timeline would.blank vertical space, 32 pixels high

OK, that’s it!!blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

I’d love to hear what you think about my new About Page, ditto my new Contact Page. Make me happy, leave a comment!! 😊blank vertical space, 16 pixels highblank vertical space, 16 pixels high

*       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *  blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

blank vertical space, 16 pixels highAbout Mark: I’m an illustrator specializing in humor, branding, social media, and content marketing. My images are different, like your brand needs to be.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

You can view my portfolio, and connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Questions? Send me an email.blank vertical space, 40 pixels highRecommendation testimonial for Mark Armstrong Illustration from Beth Taylor, senior editor, Thomson Reuters

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. spookster01 permalink
    January 20, 2020 11:15 AM

    Hi Mark…. wow, a lot to consider for an “about page”. If you look at mine it’s missing pretty much everything. I’ll have to review and add after reading this. Thanks.
    John

    Like

    • January 20, 2020 12:16 PM

      Hey John, glad you found it helpful, and I always appreciate your candor and support– both equally valuable, my friend. I don’t know why it takes me so long to get hip to some of the basics. I try to console myself with the fact that I am making progress– I think!! If I can just live for another 200 years, it may all come together!! 😂

      Like

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